Universität Wien FIND

140107 UE The Essence of Poetry. Readings from Anandavardhana's Dhvanyaloka and Abhinavagupta's Locana (2018W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Details

max. 24 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday, 4.10.2018

Thursday 04.10. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 11.10. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 18.10. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 25.10. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 08.11. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 15.11. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 22.11. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 29.11. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 06.12. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 13.12. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 10.01. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 17.01. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Tuesday 22.01. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 24.01. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Tuesday 29.01. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Thursday 31.01. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

The Dhvanyāloka is an influential treatise on Poetics composed by Ānandavardhana in ninth-century Kashmir. It is widely recognized as a turning point in the development of Sanskrit literary theory (Alaṅkāraśāstra), particularly due to the new view that dhvani (the suggestive expression) is the essence of poetical compositions.

Throughout the history of Sanskrit Poetics, distinct schools have been evaluated and classified on the basis of this very principle: What is the soul of poetry?

Is it the formalism of linguistic embellishments and figures of speech (alaṅkāra)? Is it a matter of style (rīti)? Is it the indirect expression (vakrokti)? Is it the arousal of an aesthetic emotion (rasa)? Is it the expression of an unspoken suggestion (dhvani)?

According to such a taxonomy, Ānandavardhana is recognized as the father of the Dhvani school of Ālaṅkāraśāstra.

The Dhvanyāloka is a milestone for another historical, social and political reason as well: it marks a paradigmatic effort to raise Poetics to the status of science (śāstra), in a milieu that recognized grammar (Vyākaraṇa), epistemology (Nyāya) and hermeneutics (Mīmāṃsā) as the only true sciences.

Preliminary queries:
• What is dhvani? Is it just Ānandavardhana’s concoction or an observable phenomenon?
• Is dhvani a prerogative of poetry, or there is dhvani in common language as well? In other words, what marks the difference between poetry and plain language?
• What are the hallmarks of a science? Did Ānandavardhana and his epigones manage to create a new science?
• Were Ānandavardhana’s critics right in arguing the poetry is not a science?
• What can we learn from this debate about what is a science, in terms of present-day epistemology, hermeneutics, and Kuhnian paradigm shifts?
• Is there any social purpose of poetry?
• Does poetry have any alethic function? In other words, can poetry express any truth at all?

Assessment and permitted materials

The assessment will be done on the basis of homework and activity during the lessons (50%) and of a final written test (50%)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The course will be taught in English and will be adapted to the skill level of the students. We will read several passages from the original Sanskrit, so basic Sanskrit knowledge and Devanāgarī reading skills are required. The course will be adapted to the skill level of the students. We will read selected passage from the Dhvanyāloka and from Abhinavagupta’s commentary thereon, the Locana. We will also focus on ideas taken by Ānandavardhana and Abhinavagupta from other disciplines, particularly Mīmāṃsā (Vedic hermeneutics), Nyāya (epistemology) and Vyākaraṇa (Grammar). Specifically, the students can expect improvements in the following areas:
• Exegetical skills in understanding poetical and philosophical Sanskrit passages.
• History of ideas related to Sanskrit poetry and of mutual influences among traditions and authors in the development of traditional theories.
• Development of a technical jargon of Sanskrit Poetics and philosophy of language, such as rasa, alaṅkāra, rīti, lakṣaṇā, gauṇa, vyañjanā, tātparya, etc., as adopted in various śāstras and by various authors.

Examination topics

Selected passages of the Dhvanyāloka and related secondary literature

Reading list

Durgaprasad, Pandit and Vasudev Lakshman Shastri Pansikar, eds. (1928). The Dhvanyāloka of Ānandavardhanāchārya. With the Commentary of Abhinavaguptāchārya. Kāvyamālā 25. 3 rd revised edition. Bombay: Pandurang Jawaji.

Graheli, Alessandro (2016). “The Force of Tātparya: Bhaṭṭa Jayanta and Abhinavagupta”. In: Around Abhinavagupta: Aspects of the Intellectual History of Kashmir from the 9th to the 11th Centuries. Ed. by Eli Franco and Isabelle Ratié. Vol. 6. Leipziger Studien zu Kultur und Geschichte Süd- und Zentralasiens. Proceedings of the Abhinavagupta conference, Leipzig 2013. Berlin: LIT Verlag.

Kunjunni Raja, K. (1963). Indian Theories of Meaning. Madras: Adyar Library and Research Centre.

McCrea, Lawrence J. (2008). The Teleology of Poetics in Medieval Kashmir. Vol. 71. Harvard Oriental Series. Cambridge (MA): Department of Sanskrit and indian Studies, Harvard University.

Pollock, Sheldon (2001). “The Social Aesthetic and Sanskrit Literary Theory”. In: Journal of Indian Philosophy 29, pp. 197–229.

— (2016). A Rasa Reader. Classical Indian Aesthetics. Columbia University Press.

Association in the course directory

MASK2, MATB3b

Last modified: Th 04.07.2019 10:27